Schawlow, Arthur Leonard

Schawlow, Arthur Leonard shôˈlō [key], 1921–99, American physicist, b. Mount Vernon, N.Y., grad. Univ. of Toronto (Ph.D. 1949). Although his research focused on optics, in particular, lasers and their use in spectroscopy, he also pursued investigations in the areas of superconductivity and nuclear resonance. Upon graduating from college he worked with Charles Townes at Columbia Univ. in developing the maser. Schawlow joined the staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories, where he studied superconductivity while continuing to collaborate with Townes on research that led to the development of the laser, and in 1961 joined the faculty of Stanford Univ., where he spent the remainder of his career. Schawlow shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in physics with Nicolaas Bloembergen and Kai Siegbahn for their their contributions to the development of laser spectroscopy. Schawlow coauthored Microwave Spectroscopy (1955) with Townes.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Physics: Biographies